CBS' Schieffer Takes Pelosi to Task on Economy

Monday, 06 Jun 2011 12:20 PM

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CBS News correspondent Bob Schieffer took a hard line in his grilling of House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on “Face the Nation.” After exchanging brief niceties and welcoming the California Democrat to the show Sunday, Schieffer laid out several grievances against the state of the economy under President Barack Obama.

He cited first-quarter data that paints a grimmer-than-expected picture of the nation, including an unemployment figure of 9.1 percent. He also ticked off a list of sectors with dismal numbers: job creation, home prices and sales, consumer confidence, and food and gas inflation.

“I have to say, Congresswoman, many of the experts thought the recovery would be well underway by now, but it looks like we’re going backwards now,” said Schieffer, who said he foresees a potential “double-dip recession” on the horizon.

Nancy Pelosi, Bob Schieffer, economy, obamaPelosi insisted that Obama has been working hard to create new jobs and resurrect the economy. Schieffer fired back: “The president has been there two and a half years . . . why hasn’t he done that yet, what’s happened?”

The former House speaker and now minority leader suggested that the current economic quagmire is fallout from dramatic steps Obama took in 2008: “He pulled us from the brink of the financial crisis . . . and now we have to dig out of a deep debt, and we have to also make it clear that we’re not getting into this situation again.”

Schieffer asked Pelosi about her criticism of the economy under the “failed” leadership of George W. Bush, when unemployment was at 5 percent and gas was $3 a gallon. “Don’t [Republicans] then have the right to say [Obama] has failed the American people?” he said.

“We can talk about the past all you want; the public wants to know about the future,” Pelosi responded, and reiterated her position that the administration is focused on creating jobs and fixing the economy.

Schieffer pulled no punches in summarizing his view on how the government has taken on the crisis: “Congress has been in session since January and has done basically nothing.”

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